Veteran forward Richard Jefferson could be the odd man out when the Cleveland Cavaliers decide to cut one of their guaranteed contracts, several league sources told Amico Hoops.
Jason Lloyd of The Athletic also suggested that Jefferson’s spot on the team is in jeopardy.
The Cavaliers have 16 players under contract, and must release someone with a guaranteed deal after signing Dwyane Wade last week.
Jefferson’s contract is worth $2.5 million, but as Lloyd noted, it will cost Cleveland about $10.5 million in luxury taxes, given that the Cavs are a repeat offender.
The Cavs have recently explored making some smaller-scale trades, including some involving Jefferson, sources told Amico Hoops. But nothing has come close and the Cavs may just have to outright release a player.
Jefferson, 37, averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 79 games last season. He has been a favorite reserve of Cavs coach Tyronn Lue in their two seasons together.
Meanwhile, second-year point guard Kay Felder has a partial guarantee in his deal, and he too has been made available in talks, a source said. Felder, however, has drawn little interest. He is considered a long shot to make the Cavs’ final roster.
Finally, while the Cavs aggressively tried to trade shooting guard Iman Shumpert during the offseason, they found no takers. It appears talks centered on Shumpert have cooled considerably — though the Cavs are said to be open to revisiting those conversations before or during the season.